By Itai Muzondo
Masvingo – In a shocking development where hundreds of home seekers are anticipated to be rendered homeless besides being duped of their hard earned money, six village heads in Zaka are under fire for selling land illegally to desperate home searchers at cheap prices as a way to challenge confirmed Zaka Growth Point expansion, Radio VOP can reveal.
The heads of Benjamin, Bare, Musiso, Nezaka, Gwanya and Manyimo villages are alleged to have sold hundreds of residential stands for prices ranging from US$250 to US$500 against a council plan which aimed to sell the land at a higher cost and ultimately provide 2 643 by the end of the expansion program in the district.
Accusing the village heads of practicing unjust procedures, Zaka RDC Chief Executive Officer David Majaure confirmed the acts of the unjust moves before quickly excusing himself for a meeting.
“These are strange things happening here in Zaka and the shameful part is that village heads are in the lead of the unjust acts. The issue however requires that we talk in depth which I cannot do now since I am about to enter a meeting with the District administrator,” said Majaure before going offline.
Zaka Central MP, Paradzai Chakona said he has been informed that some home seekers were half way done developing the land though he said he would make sure that the culprits in the unjust acts would be brought to book.
“The situation is disturbing since most of the victims who brought land unknowingly were half way through completing their home construction. The structures are even haphazard and I have been informed of double sales in some instances. We will however never let such a situation go in vain as we shall act and make sure that all implicated culprits will be brought to book,” said Chakona.
Under fire, village head Munyaradzi Benjamin, of Benjamin village said the allegations came to them as a surprise saying they were never notified that the land they were distributing was meant for council expansion program.
“These allegations being fingered towards us come as a surprise since we were never notified that our land has been included in the Zaka expansion program. The major problem is however that council makes major decisions in our absence and at such moments, we appear as crooks.
“Even when they pass major decisions, they dupe our representatives we send to their meetings with the prince language since most of my colleagues are elderly and do not have a clear understanding of it like the educated leaders in the city. Things are not really transparent and we never sold the stands, we simply gave as any village head would do in their respective village,” said Benjamin.
Another village head implicated in the scum, Lazarus Bare of Bare village, denied the allegations saying the illegal land settlers just penetrated his area and is not aware of who gave the people the right to build homes in his area without his acknowledgement.
“These illegal settlers just bumped into my area without my acknowledgement. Even the chief was not aware. I know nothing about the land in question and neither do I know who gave them permission to settle since I was never informed,” said Bare.
Meanwhile, Bikita RDC is facing stiff resistance from villagers who are to be moved in a bid to pave way for the district’s expansion.
The villagers have demanded that they offer them reasonable compensation and security that the graves of their beloved ones are not demolished after their vacation. They also asked for council consideration that they improve their homesteads to suit town standards than having them vacated without offering them an opportunity.